DURALIE COAL MINE

The Duralie coal mine is near the township of Stroud Road 30 km south of Gloucester. In comparison to Hunter and QLD mines Duralie is quite small producing 1.4 million tons of saleable coal in 2015. The mine is on the main northern railway line and on the banks of Mammy Johnsons River.
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The open cut mine commenced there in 2003 and (by current approvals) is due to close in 2019. There are reserves that would allow mining to be continued for decades, should it become economic to do so.

The coal is sent north 20km up the railway to be processed at Stratford. The coal is then railed south to the port of Newcastle where it is exported. The rail wagons are not covered on either trip and pass within 50 metres of the township of Wards River and closer than that to some houses.

The mine site has a continuing problem with disposing of water. Some water is surface water and some has come in contact with sulphur-bearing rock which is acid forming when exposed to air and water. The latter water must be treated on site.

The owners have applied to dispose of water directly into the river several times during the life of the mine but so far permission has been refused by the state government.

Mammy Johnsons River is part of the Karuah system which provides drinking water for several towns downstream and ultimately flows into Port Stephens (a declared marine park) which has important oyster growing and tourism industries.

The water is held in large dams and sprayed up in the air continuously using water cannons where it is intended to evaporate.


During wet weather the water will neither evaporate nor soak in and so it runs off back into the dams or the river. Any contamination from water that is absorbed ends up in the surrounding soils and may wash back into the river now or at some time in future.

There are proven coal reserves all the way between Duralie and Stratford. If the price of coal was right the whole valley floor for 20km, containing the better land, could be open cut mined and the coal exported with the profits going overseas.


Yancoal
Yancoal Australia Limited trades on the Australian stock market and describes itself as "becoming one of Australia's largest listed pure-play coal producers." It is owned (78%) by the Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited. Yanzhou is listed on several stock exchanges and is ultimately owned by the private company Yankuang Group Corporation Limited.

Yankuang is a state owned enterprise of the Peoples Republic of China.

In effect Yancoal is owned by the Chinese government.
Besides Duralie and Stratford, Yancoal owns outright or has a major share of seven other Australian mines. Yancoal lost $291 million in 2015 and has borrowed heavily from Yanzhou and other entities. Its shares were trading at about 9c in mid 2016 - down from $1.16 four years ago.

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